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Belt’s Beer Garden’s BrewFC #7: The Haze Craze...Part 2

In June we had our sixth BrewFC fight which featured two hazy IPAs. After a few months, the hazy IPA trend is still in full swing and so we decided to have another battle between two NE IPAs.

This time, however, it’s not just me and one other…today I have two guest reviewers that will put these beers under the microscope. With me are my friends Sabrina and Sean…who both work at a place that was just rated the best beer bar in America by USA Today!

As with all BrewFC fights, we will each blindly judge both beers in five categories that total up to 50 points. From there, we’ll add the totals together for a composite score out of 150. The beer with the higher score wins.

The five categories are: Aroma (10 points), Taste (20 points), Presentation 1 (the look of the beer; 10 points), Presentation 2 (the look of the bottle; 5 points), and Value (5 points).

Those last two categories are impossible to rank blindly, so those have already been scored before the real fight begins.

Up next, let’s get a look at our competitors.

First up, a can of Dirty Dank Juice from Odd Side Ales, their original recipe hazy IPA. Taking on Dirty Dank Juice will be Epic’s New England IPA.

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Beer: Epic New England IPA Odd Side Dirty Dank Juice
Beer: Epic New England IPA Odd Side Dirty Dank Juice
From: Salt Lake City, UT Grand Haven, MI
ABV: 7.30% 7%
Cost: $14.99 (6 pack) $12.99 (6 pack)

Without further ado…let the fight begin!

Beer 1:

Judge 1 (Sabrina):

Aroma: This one smelled slightly hoppy but was super juicy and fruity with big notes of oranges. It was like taking a whiff of OJ. 8/10

Taste: This was surprisingly dank. Sure it was sweet and very juicy with all those citrus notes but there was a hoppy dankness to it that I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed this one. Almost all citrus juice flavors with some of that weed-like dankness that didn’t overpower the other flavors. 19/20

Presentation 1: Very hazy orange color. Supper foggy with some light head that didn’t last too long. 9/10

Presentation 2: This is a very eye-catching can. It’s colorful without being too busy and its rather appealing. 4/5

Value: Slightly expensive but for the quality of the beer inside I would say it was worth the extra few dollars…the beer is too good to pass on just because it’s a bit more expensive. 4/5

Total: 44/50

Judge 2 (Sean):

Aroma: This one was all oranges with not else. No bold hops, no real malt…just simply orange juice. 7/10

Taste: Like the aroma, the taste was mostly orange juice. It had a nice clean finish to it and some light citrus notes besides the oranges, like lemon and passion fruit, but for the most part it was as New England as it gets. 16/20

Presentation 1: Super cloudy and orange-ish…so hazy. Very light head and minimal lacing, if any. 8/10

Presentation 2: It’s colorful, I’ll give it that...but a little too colorful for me. 3/5

Value: For what you get it’s alright. Still on the expensive side but since it was tasty, I guess it’s worth it. 3/5

Total: 37/50

Judge 3 (Dave):

Aroma: Super juicy and awesome. Tons of orange juice but with some light mango and passion fruit backing those up. The perfect NE IPA smell. 9/10

Taste: Like the aroma, the taste was just as good. It was really juicy with some mango, grapefruit, and passion fruit backing up the oranges. Slightly hoppy but with no real malt profile. Really tasty. 18/20

Presentation 1: Pretty damn hazy. Light golden wheat color, nearing the orangey side of things with some very light head. 8/10

Presentation 2: Colorful but a little busy. Not too bad though. 3/5

Value: It is expensive…but it is also worth it. 3/5

Total: 41/50

Overall: 122/150

Beer 2:

Judge 1 (Sabrina):

Aroma: Not as juicy as I would have like from a NE IPA. There was more of a hop presence but there were some big citrus notes. 6/10

Taste: It was fruity but again less juicy than I was hoping for. It was smooth for most of the sip but, towards the end of the taste, there was a much more noticeable hoppy bitterness. 13/20

Presentation 1: Golden color and much clearer than the other beer. It was much more translucent than I would have guessed. 6/10

Presentation 2: It has a moonshine like look to it that reminds me of home (I’m originally from Tennessee) but it’s a little too simple for me. 3/5

Value: This one costs a little bit on the higher side of things too. The beer lacks the quality to justify paying more though. 2/5

Total: 30/50

Judge 2 (Sean):

Aroma: This one is pretty earthy and slightly dank on the nose. It’s slightly juicy but not nearly as much as I would want from the style. 6/10

Taste: As far as taste goes, it’s juicy sure but there’s a lot more going on here than just juice. It’s got some earthy undertones and a hint of nutty hops on the backend. It’s a good IPA just not super New England-y. 16/20

Presentation 1: More golden than hazy…not quite as colorful as I would expect from a NE IPA. 8/10

Presentation 2: It’s got a classic, simple look. Nothing too impressive but not bad either. 3/5

Value: To me this one is neck and neck on taste with the other…but it’s slightly cheaper which is a plus. 4/5

Total: 37/50

Judge 3 (Dave):

Aroma: Slight juice to it. More hop-forward with some tropical fruit and orange notes. Has a slight bready malt backing to it. 7/10

Taste: This has a nice balance. The malts are more present but still hidden by the hops and juicy flavors. It is less juicy than the other though and has a light lingering bitterness after everything is all said and done. 16/20

Presentation 1: Some haze but a lot more translucent and clear. Dark copper-ish color was not what I was expecting from a NE IPA. 7/10

Presentation 2: Clean label with a nice font. But not too eye-catching. 3/5

Value: It’s a good beer but, like the other, it’s slightly over priced… 3/5

Total: 36/50

Overall: 103/150

It was a KO! The clear-cut winner was Beer #1, with a commanding 122-103 victory!

But what was Beer #1?

WINNER: EPIC NEW ENGLAND IPA!